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M.E Awareness Week

For those of you who don't know, this week in May is M.E Awareness Week.

It's so vital to raise awareness for this illness, as it's so incredibly misunderstood!

I started suffering from severe M.E nearly ten years ago now, at the age of 13, after several years of having Juvenile Arthritis, at that point my immune system was already at such a low ebb and after having a bad chest infection and then following that a case of the flu, I began to get increasingly ill. That's often how M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) begins, with a type of infection of some kind triggering off something in your body and immune system and that can lead to M.E of all different severities. Unfortunately I'm in the 25% category that suffers from the illness severely.

After being in and out of hospitals, units and nursing homes for years due to the severity of it all and the fact that my M.E continued to deteriorate; it has all certainly taken its toll on me over the past ten years.

There are such a huge array of debilitating symptoms that in my case have left me predominantly bed bound, having to be hoisted out of bed and into a wheelchair. The symptoms can range from; extreme fatigue, chronic pain, migraines, brain fog, weakness... the list goes on and for severe M.E sufferers the symptoms are obviously more severe and restricting.

For M.E to still be so terribly misunderstood is unbelievable to me, with so many people suffering from this awful illness, we still have to fight to get a diagnosis and to get any kind of recognition; it's truly baffling.

Despite my situation, I'm trying to raise as much awareness as possible for M.E, most especially severe M.E. and I've been doing that with the 'My Photo Story' series I'm working on, depicting the true reality of living with this chronic illness.

We so desperately need awareness and research to find out what can be done to help M.E sufferers, as currently there is no cure or even treatment. Hence why I'm writing this blog post, to spread that awareness further. And if you could share this post to raise even more awareness, it would be greatly appreciated.

 

#ASKGARYVEE Book Review

From following Gary Vaynerchuk's work for a couple of years now and watching literally every episode of The Ask Gary Vee show; I was very excited at the prospect of an Ask Gary Vee book.

#AskGaryVee is without a doubt the new business bible for 2016. It's everything I anticipated it to be and so much more.

I took such an unbelievable amount of inspiration from Gary's words and have honestly never been more motivated to start my own business.  Unlike most other business books, Gary Vee doesn't spout the usual rehashed generic spiel as some of his contemporaries very much do, his words are completely genuine, truly honest and clearly come straight from the heart; whilst also giving a whole new perspective on all the topics discussed, which include; starting out, hustle, clouds & dirt, content and context, influencer marketing and of course self awareness amongst an array of other interesting topics.

I luckily had the best of both worlds with having the opportunity to listen to both the audio book and owning the physical copy of #AskGaryVee and I think the fact that Gary actually voiced the audio book was fantastic and truly invaluable, with his charismatic nature flowing through the entirety of the book. Whilst with each answer he added even more value for the listener with improvising on many questions and making the answers incredibly more impactful, as he gives a more in-depth insight into the information and advice he's giving to us.

With each and every question, Gary delves into the answers deeply and gets extremely specific with them, equating into a book bursting at the seams with knowledge and incredible content providing integral information for entrepreneurs, creative's and literally anyone with an inkling of intention towards business and entrepreneurship.

I am certain that this book will assist anyone no matter what your profession and background may be. #AskGaryVee is undoubtedly one of the best books I've ever read; for certain the most inspiring, and by far the greatest audio book I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

What Happens When You're Not Able To Pursue Your Photography?

As photographers we all talk about going out and shooting and actively photographing, but what about when you're not able to get out and shoot? And how incredibly frustrating that can be. Whether that's due to a chronic illness restricting you from picking up the camera and doing some photography, lack of inspiration, the dreary Winter months; whatever that may be, it's the worst thing as a creative to not be able to pursue your creativity.

With my illness, months can go by without getting out and that is just beyond tiresome, especially when in my head I have all these ideas and plans, yet my body is restricting me from going out. It's been a month now since the last time I was well enough to get out of bed and out of the house, so it's been somewhat difficult to say the least. What do you do when you're not able to get out and continue with your photography? I'm hoping to continue with 'My Photo Story' about living with a chronic illness and use that as both a tool of creativity to pursue my passion, but as an outlet for my illness too. But it obviously can be extremely difficult to do so at times when you're even too unwell to get out of bed and sit in a wheelchair.

I would love your feedback about what you do when you're stuck inside and not able to fully pursue your photographic dreams, and to come up with ideas of photography projects we can all take part in, despite whatever situation you may currently be stuck in.

Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below.

My 2016 Photography Dreams and Resolutions

After spending the majority of 2015 completely bed bound due to my illness, I have big hopes for 2016. There's so much I've been so incredibly eager to achieve but haven't been able to, so I'm absolutely determined to make this New Year different and make my dreams a reality.

There's so many new exciting plans and projects I have in mind to pursue, I'm keen to get started on it all.

Firstly with film photography; I very much look forward to delving even more into the form, trying new film stocks, different lenses, different cameras and simply experiment as much as possible.

Secondly, I wish to delve further into various aspects of photography and the areas I'm most interested in; music photography, landscapes, portraits and botanicals.

As I continue to build my portfolio I'd love to begin selling some prints and cards of my work, so if anyone is at all interested, I'll be working on putting a range of various prints; mounted, framed, metallic; there's a lot of very cool stuff I have in store and can't wait to put into action.

I'm also extremely interested to begin featuring and reviewing different photography gear and products on my blog, especially more independent companies. I want to try as many different things as I can, discover as much as possible and enjoy new experiences; I'm hoping 2016 will be a great one.

Why I Started 'My Photo Story'

'My Photo Story' is a project I've been working on that's very close to my heart. I've suffered from severe M.E. for the past nine years and as my illness has deteriorated, I've realised even more so how misunderstood and unrecognised this severe illness is. This is exactly why I was so eager to begin this personal photo story. I'm trying to portray the true reality of living with this chronic illness and the light and shade that reflects that. I'd love to be able to increase awareness of M.E. through 'My Photo Story' and it's also of course a great creative outlet for me, so even in the most difficult moments I can use photography to help me cope better with the situation.


In 2016 I really wish to continue with 'My Photo Story' and eventually create a photo book where I can then begin to raise money for my favourite M.E. charities through that and try to help those in positions similar to mine and raise as much awareness as possible.